The battle for supremacy among group buying sites in the Philippines continues to heat up, with most sites resorting to massive advertising on Google and Facebook. But when advertising online, isn’t it unethical (and possibly illegal) to use your competitors’ keywords to deceive customers into believing that you are who you are not?
For example, we have screenshots below showing Ensogo advertising themselves as “Cash Cash Pinoy” and “Deal Grocer Philippines” while another site, Metrodeal, is advertising themselves as “Emsogo.”
I don’t know if these tactics of playing dirty bode well with their customers.
For the uninitiated, group buying sites are websites that rely on the power of collective buying in order to reduce the price of a merchant’s goods and services. These sites prove to be popular among Filipinos looking for a bargain, with around 40+ group buying sites currently operating in the Philippines alone.
With such sites mushrooming in number week after week, the market seems to be saturating already. This is probably the reason why some of them have started bombarding Google Adsense and Facebook with their ads — but does that mean they should deceitfully use NOT their own keywords, but their competitors’ names in order to promote themselves?
Ensogo advertises as “Cash Cash Pinoy” and “Deal Grocer”
For example, a few days ago while browsing several articles on PinoyMoneyTalk.com, we saw a Google Adsense ad unit featuring Ensogo Philippines using the terms “Cash Cash Pinoy” and “Deal Grocer Philippines.”
The ads clearly were for Ensogo, the ad links at the bottom.
Metrodeal advertises as “Emsogo”
Another group buying site, Metrodeal, seems to be using the same strategy of using a competitor’s keyword, although with a twist. In one ad we saw online, Metrodeal uses the keyword “Emsogo” — an obvious play on the spelling of Ensogo. We can only surmise that Metrodeal’s goal is for customers to think that Emsogo and Ensogo are the same so that they will click on the ad but when you do, you actually go to Metrodeal’s site.
This practice of using the keywords of competitors in order to bring traffic to your site is tantamount to deceptive advertising. Here are screenshots of those misleading ads.
Group buying sites customers, what do you think of this practice?